LINCOLN — Harold W. Andersen of Omaha bagged a big one Friday.
The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission named Andersen its first recipient of the agency's highest honor, the Distinguished Fellow Award.
Andersen, who will turn 90 Tuesday, is a retired president and chief executive of The World-Herald.
A resolution read by Commissioner Rex Forney of Lincoln cited Andersen's advocacy for Nebraska's natural, cultural and parkland resources.
Andersen, who was not at the commission meeting in Lincoln, said later he was honored and humbled.
“I recognize how many other people encouraged me, cooperated with me and made it possible for me to make a contribution,” he said. “Over the years, I had the great pleasure of working with great people at the commission and doing things I enjoyed.”
Under Andersen's leadership, the Nebraska Game and Parks Foundation raised tens of millions of dollars in support of many fisheries, wildlife and parks projects and programs.
Andersen hunted and fished across the state and boated or canoed the Snake, Dismal, Niobrara, Platte, Republican and Missouri Rivers.
His imprint can be found across Nebraska. His name is on a wildlife management area near Dannebrog, the visitors center at Fort Atkinson State Historical Park and cabins at Mahoney State Park.
Andersen started his World-Herald career as a reporter in 1946. He became chief executive in 1966 and retired in 1989.
Jim Douglas, Game and Parks director, said the new award would be given rarely.